Its raining Betas everywhere .. Soon after Microsoft announced that new version of MSN Messenger will be called Windows Live Messenger, they released the program for Beta testers .. The download size is huge, double the size of previous versions but I still decided to test it. So I downloaded it and installed it.. Here’s my experience with it …
Whats New ..?
- The interface: It clearly says “The Future of MSN Messenger” in the main window. They have redesigned the interface yet again .. I said “Wow ..!” when I first looked at it ..! Its more colorful (You can customize the colors) and its more sleek.. You can find most of the common task in the main interface without right clicking .. Just hover over a contact and most useful tasks are visible ..
- Offline Messaging: Its finally arrived for MSN Messenger (Oops) … Windows Live Messenger supports Offline messaging now .. It tells you that your messages will be delivered when next time they sign in to the service ..
There is an Offline Message section in options window too :
- Video Chat: The Video and voice chat is redesigned and it looks sleek ..! This isnt of much interest to me, but others may be interested in it ..
- Shared Search: This was there in 7.5 too .. Its more like Yahoo Messenger’s
s: keywordsearch . .. Just put a keyword and click on Search button and first three results are displayed in the conversation window .. And unlike Yahoo messenger, the search results are shown in multi user conversation windows too …
- Personal Music Message: Guess, they have infact listened to some of my suggestions 😛 .. Now MSN Messenger installs a plugin to Windows Media Player that will allow users to set their personal message to whatever song they are listening too .. Better late then never ..
The link in the status message opens music.msn.com site for the song and album information .. It gives a notification window when its changing your status :
- Better Contact Options: Phew .. This is the best thing they have added IMHO .. Now you can set Nicknames of your contacts, so its easy to identify who is who .. As I stopped using Messenger Plus after Sandi’s investigations, this was the feature that I found missing since .. Thankfully they have added it ..
- In built virus scanning: You can install a free virus scanner from Windows Live Security centre. And then all files you share will be first scanned for viruses before you can run them .. The thinking is good … but how many people will trust Microsoft’s antivirus ..? Anyways its free so I decided to test it .. But it didnt installed on my system (it got stuck on 27% ) .. I guess it was due to poor performance of my connection …
- Shared Folders: The file sharing is now redesigned as Shared Folders .. It didnt work on my system as it requires NTFS..
Any Problems ..?
Apart from complicating file transfers, I didnt find anything mentionable as annoying .. The resource usage is increased though .. Most features require your contacts to be using the same version to work as I wasnt able to send or receive files from my friends who were using 7.5 version ..
Overall I find it good .. With this version, MSN messenger is now coming at par with Yahoo Messenger providing roughly all the features available in YIM … Both have changed voice chatting to PC to PC calling .. Both have integrated search features and photo sharing features … Both now eats same amount of memory (wasnt this expected ?) .. Anyways .. lookwise Windows Live Messenger appeals to me .. Lets see what features they will add in the final version ..
I have uploaded more screenshots to Flickr and added more comments there .. Check those too .. 🙂